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Today we continue with the theme of basic bolt-ons in our 2003 GT by installing this short throw shifter from Steeda. The Steeda Tri-Ax Shifter is one of the most popular aftermarket shifters for your late model Mustang.
First of all, you can see the construction of it. Heavy-duty built, really a high-quality shifter. Has built-in stops, which puts less strain on your shifter forks. These three different adjustments points here allow you to choose the height of your shift handle. It includes an aluminum handle, an isolator to keep down vibration, and all necessary installation hardware. For this installation, you'll need a quarter-inch ratchet, 8mm socket, 10mm socket, 13mm socket, 6-inch extension, two half-inch wrenches, gasket scraper or razor blade, and a mallet.
The Steeda Tri-Ax is going to fit your T5, T45 or T3650 transmission. In the case of a 1994-2004, the installation is going to be exactly the same. You have 1993 or older Mustang, you'll have to take the console apart to get to the shifter. The actual shifter install is going to be identical.
We'll start by twisting off the shifter knob. You're going to reach your hand underneath the edges here, pull straight up to release the shifter boot. Make sure you unplug the lighter. Now we'll get the factory shift handle out of the way. It's held on by two 10mm bolts.
Now we're at the lower boot, which is held on by four 8mm bolts. Once the bolts are out, you can remove the boot. Kind of have to turn it a little bit to get it around the console.
Now you can see your stock shifter. It's held onto your transmission by four bolts, one on each corner. Now remove those next. Once you get the bolts out, you can remove the shifter from your transmission. There is factory silicone sealant used to hold it together, so it may not come apart easily. You may have to use a hammer, a couple small taps usually gets it out. Try it without the hammer first, some times you get lucky.
On your T5 and T45 cars, there's a little cup that sometimes will come out with the shifter, sometimes it stays in the transmission. You will want to make sure that's there and put it back in the transmission. The 3650, they actually attach this now to the ball in the shifter. Get a good grip on it and just pop it off.
Now move it over and install it on our Steeda. Before we install the new Steeda shifter, you want to go across this surface here. Using a gasket scraper or a razor blade, make sure all the old material is scraped off. Once you have it scraped clean, put down a layer of new silicone for our new shifter.
Now you put the Steeda down in place. You install the supplied bolts by Steeda. Do not re-use the factory ones; they will not fit with the new Steeda shifter.
Now we're going to adjust the stops on our shifter. What you want to do is push the clutch in, push your shifter right into third gear. What you do then is loosen this up here, while putting pressure forward. Basically unthread it until it touches the shifter. Once it's touching, you want to go about 1/4 of a turn away from it. Leaving a very thin gap between the shifter and the arm. Then we'll hold it and tight down the lock nut. Now you want to pull it back into second gear, and do the same thing.
Now we're ready to start putting everything back together. You want to start with the boot guard. This little washer that's included, just slide it over the lever and go all the way down at the bottom. Don't worry if it sounds like it's going to rattle around. When you put the lower shift boot on top of it, it will hold it in place and protect the boot.
Now you can reinstall the factory hardware. Now we can install the handle. The handle has two locations you can install it. Because the owner of this car is kind of on the taller side, we're going to go with the higher location.
Now we can reinstall the upper boot. Don't forget to plug your cigarette lighter back in. Lastly, reinstall the knob. Your installation is finished.
Even in the taller setting, the throws are nice and short. Best of all, when it goes into gear now, there's a real solid feel. Those stops do a great job of protecting your transmission against further damage. Installation will take you about an hour. You'll be back on the road in no time.